Visiting the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery

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It’s been a while since the last time I had an adventure to post about. Over half a year, in fact! Well, part of the reason for that is because I injured my ankle back in January, so I haven’t been able to go on any long hikes or adventures. There are other reasons, but that’s not why I’m here today.

I finally got the chance to visit a local nature preserve and conservation center I’ve had my eye on for years: the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. The Hatchery is part of a network of fish conservation efforts, though most of that isn’t really on display. In practical terms, it’s really just a few nature trails around some man-made ponds that, while they have fish in them, aren’t really things you can interact with. It’s still a pretty nice place for a walk, though!

Clear, sunny day. We’ve arrived!
Time to see what kinds of things they’re actually doing here.
The entrance to their mini history museum. LOVE the wooden sturgeon.

The wooden sturgeon was carved by a local artist and donated for display. It’s pretty cool!

Baby sturgeon!
Baby snapper!

Outside of the visitor center, they have a show pond with a bunch of varieties of fish, including some large sturgeon. I didn’t see any of the really big ones, but I did grab a complimentary cup of fish pellets to feed them.

Complimentary cup of fish food for the large fish show pond? Yes, please.
The show pond.
Sturgeon have always been my favorite freshwater fish.
There are 8 or 9 different kinds of fish in the pond. Too hard to tell what they are from above, sadly.

Of course, if you’re tossing food in the water, some things other than fish are going to stop by to say hi. A good number of the geese here are fledglings, and you could still see scruffy neck feathers on the babies. Cute!

More friends coming to say hi.
I couldn’t resist. Fisherman Jessie!
This was the view for most of the walk.
The self proclaimed guardians of the pond.

Geese and fish aren’t the only creatures around. There were quite a few territorial red-winged blackbirds and assorted other songbirds around. My partner also thinks he spotted an oriole and a bald eagle, but didn’t really get pictures of either (the eagle was really, really high up.)

Red-winged Blackbird that was following and screaming at us for a good 5 minutes.
Because of the city girl in me, seeing lily pads (with flowers, no less) is exciting.
Tent worms. I’ve only ever seen them a few times before. Gross.
Perfect day!
Smaller fish pond. Signs said to NOT feed them.

There’s not a ton to do at the Hatchery, but it’s relatively close by, entirely flat and cleared trails, and super easy to walk. It was nice to go out and do something new, and do some hiking in nature without risking my ankle on hills and rocks. I’ll certainly be going back, sooner or later!

Stay tuned for next week! Strawberry season is over, but blueberries and cherries are both in season, and I have a lot of plans for tasty treats I’m sure you’ll all love!

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